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Everybody Lies

Date - 25 February 2016/ Category - Facts Of Life
Facts of life

Whether you work for someone or you run your own business you’ll come across a basic fact, everything goes through the truth filter.

The truth filter is somewhat like Chinese whispers. Once a story leaves your mouth, it can be reinterpreted on purpose or by accident by the people that carry it.

If you work for someone you’ll often find the truth filter applied by your manager when they are down playing the work that you did, or by a colleague you had a confidential chat with that wants to spread gossip.

The truth filter isn’t always deliberate, in fact more often than not it’s subconscious. We change the facts by 5% just to make ourselves look better all the time. When you’re at home and you do something wrong, how often do you downplay the problem? That is the truth filter at work.

Lying then is part of everyday life. It’s something we need to accept and bear in mind. Everything we’re hearing has had the truth filter applied consciously or subconsciously and as such we need to cut through the filter to work out what actually happened.

In a world where the act of lying is perfectly normal, it’s the degree to which we lie and the reasons behind that lie that matter.

For example, someone lying about their own ability when going for a job interview is probably normal, the reason they do it is to get a job or more money. They are motivated to lie by a possible improvement in their circumstances.

This type of lie might be severe but it doesn’t hurt anyone.

Yet a smaller lie, for example taking credit for a development in a project, one that takes 3 seconds to say, might hurt someone else’s bonus or potential for improvement and as such, isn’t the kind of lying that we can understand.

As a business owner you’ll lie more often than you realise. You’ll lie about your cash position to reassure your staff, you’ll probably lie about your chances of making a sale, you’ll lie about employee promotion prospects because you’re scared they will leave and you’ll probably lie to your friends about how well you are doing.

None of these lies are malicious, they are born out of a desire to keep the peace and find an easier life.

When you recognise that you lie, you’ll start to realise that the world around you is to some degree a lie too. More importantly though you’ll also understand the importance of lying.

When you stand up on a pulpit and try to inspire people it’s much easier to filter the truth than it is to say it as it is.

Inspiring stories and interesting anecdotes need to be filtered simply to make them more interesting.

In life then you shouldn’t despise lying. You should recognise the benefits it brings along with the negatives that it breeds.

In the hands of someone in a trusted position, a lie can be an extremely negative thing as it will cloud someone else perspective, yet in the hands of a leader who wants to inspire their team it can be extremely positive.

Chapter Summary:

• Lying can be good or bad
• Most people will filter the truth without realising it
• Remember that most things are filtered to some extent

Read our next blog post “Success isn’t an advert”.